Eileen Berges

Obituary of Eileen M. Berges

On Thursday, October 29, 2020, Eileen M. Berges, loving wife and mother, passed away at the age of 74 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease and dementia. Eileen was born on May 21, 1946 in Clifton Springs, NY and was the first born of three children. She was raised in Palmyra, NY, a small, close-knit community, where she developed life-long friendships. In 1964, Eileen graduated from Palmyra-Macedon High School as an honors student and went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in the fine arts from SUNY Geneseo. Eileen was very passionate about working with children and enjoyed using her creative talents to teach young minds. After graduating from college, she worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Fort Belvoir, VA and Palmyra, NY. She was instrumental in establishing the Canal Town Nursery School in Palmyra, where she worked as a preschool teacher. She was later hired as the first director of the newly-opened Candy Apple Day Care Center in Newark, NY, where she also worked as a teacher. As the wife of a pastor, she continued to work with children in the many churches of which she was a member during her life. While she began sharing the teachings of God to her beloved preschoolers as a Sunday School teacher, she eventually branched out to share her talents and creativity with other age groups. She served as a leader for Youth Fellowship, Confirmation class, and Vacation Bible School. When her family moved to Michigan, Eileen took on a new role, working for the Bank of Lenawee as a switchboard operator and receptionist. Her welcoming personality and knack for organization were quickly discovered, making her an important member of the banking team. Not forgetting about her love of children, she took the lead with initiating a children's savings club - even roping her daughter into dressing up as the club mascot, Moola Moola! Her family then moved to New Jersey, and Eileen found a new niche at the American Cancer Society. Once again, her superior organizational and people skills made her an asset to the ACS team. It was during this time that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, giving her an even greater connection to the people she helped every day. With Eileen, family always came first. When her children were little, she strived to make every day special - even the smallest moments. Some of her children's fondest memories are of having hot dog picnics around the Christmas tree, mini-parties at a Holidome, baking cookies, and watching Mom dance and sing to Barry Manilow songs! She always knew how to make us laugh! She especially loved the big family gatherings at her parents' house in NY, where there was much love and laughter to be had. Her love of family reached out further than her biological family too. "Mom" Berges not only cared for her own children, but frequently chose to be a surrogate to anyone she thought was in need of care and love. Her legacy will be carried on not only by her children, but by all of those whose lives she touched. Eileen is survived by her beloved husband of 44 years, Rev. John Berges, her children and their spouses, Kristie and Anthony Romano of Methuen, MA, Andrew and Irina Berges of Fremont, CA, and Stephanie and Bob Shumaker of Boise, Idaho, and her two grandchildren, Collin and Shannon. Eileen is preceded in death by her parents, Eliud and Myra Mumby, and her brother, Michael Mumby. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Tricia and Mike Pykare, her sister-in-law, Liz Mumby, her niece, Lisa Quinto, and nephews, Steve Mumby, Chris Mumby, Patrick Pykare, and Michael Pykare. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Eileen's memory to the American Cancer Society (https://www.cancer.org/) or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/). Memorial services will be held at a later date.
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